PLANTS HAVE EVOLVED OVER 450 MILLION YEARS. BOTANICAL PHYTOCHEMICALS INCLUDE AMINO ACIDS, FATTY ACIDS, ORGANIC ACIDS, ANTIOXIDANTS, MINERALS AND VITAMINS. THEY ARE COMPLEX, DIVERSE AND SOPHISTICATED. MANY PHYTOCHEMICALS ARE BENEFICIAL TO OUR HEALTH BUT MOST REMAIN MYSTERIOUS: THE NEXT FRONTIER. GROVE APOTHECA'S ALCHEMY REQUIRES THE FINEST BARELY ALTERED RAW BOTANICS COMBINED WITH MORE REFINED PLANT INGREDIENTS.
ALCOHOL EXTRACT / TINCTURE
Fresh or dried plant material is soaked in a mixture of water and organic grain alcohol (ethanol). Water and alcohol act as the solvents. Grove Apotheca’s extracts contain a range of alcohol concentrations. The resulting extract yields a potent combination of a plant’s hydrophilic and lipophilic phytochemicals. Alcohol extracted phytochemicals tend to be the most widely researched in peer-reviewed scientific studies. Alcohol greatly increases skin’s absorption rate of phytochemicals and is often necessary for phytochemicals to penetrate the stratum corneum. There is some research indicating too much ethanol disrupts the skin’s lipid barrier, causing over-drying of the stratum corneum. Research on hand sanitizers with high concentrations of ethanol indicate the alcohol evaporates too quickly to cause skin drying. Grove Apotheca finds balance when formulating. Alcohol is used effectively and in a limited amount.
A marvelous substance secreted by worker honeybees. One of only two natural occlusives approved by the FDA. As an occlusive it acts as a protective barrier to slow down water-loss from skin. Is used as a structural ingredient. It is harvested and refined by local beekeepers. Not vegan. One of the few non-plant ingredients in our formulas.
Ecocert certified preservative. EU approved cosmetic preservative. Calcium gluconate is produced by neutralization of gluconic acid with lime.
A mild surfactant (soap) obtained from fatty alcohols and glucose of vegetable origin. ECOCERT compliant.
A finely-grained natural rock that combines many trace minerals and organic material. Grove Apotheca sources food-grade clays that have been dug up, sun dried and screened to remove debris. Clays have different mineral compositions and properties based on where it is located. Important skincare clays include green clay “illite” from France, red clays “montmorillonite” from USA, original Montmorillonite from Montmorillon France, white clay “kaolin” from USA, black clay “calcium bentonite” from USA. Clays have extremely useful properties of absorption, adsorption and magnetic charge. This is why they are effective and widely used to detoxify.
Cold-pressed oil is produced by grinding and pressing a plant’s seeds, fruits, or nuts with a stainless steel press. Friction and force involved in the process generates heat, around 104F. Heat may not exceed 120F. Very low heat maintains most of a plant’s delicate phytochemicals (such as antioxidants). Cold-pressed oils mainly contain essential fatty acids, other phytochemicals are found in much smaller amounts. Examples: Olive, Sesame, Grapeseed, Evening Primrose, Rosehip Seed, Chia, Coconut, Jojoba, Kalahari Melon Seed, Moringa, etc.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
EFAs are vital to help cells retain water and flush out toxins. Aging affects the body’s natural ability to retain moisture within cells, resulting in skin that appears loose, wrinkled or saggy. Essential Fatty Acids include: Stearic, Oleic, Palmitic, Palmitoleic, Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA), Alpha-Linolenic (ALA), Linoleic, Myristic, Lauric. Plant oils contain different portions of fatty acids and trace phytoactives. This is why different botanical oils have different skin feel and affects on skin.
ESSENTIAL OIL STEAM-DISTILLED
Essential oil phytochemicals are produced in the cells of aromatic plants. They are released from the plant and concentrated through steam distillation. Steam distillation involves bubbling steam through massive quantities of fresh botanics. The temperature of the steam is controlled so that heat-sensitive phytochemicals are not lost. The essential oils are immiscible in water and vaporize at a lower temperature, the vaporized oils rise and are collected.
Vegetable glycerin aka glycerol. A humectant that attracts water from the atmosphere if the humidity is very high. If the humidity is lower than 50% and it has absorbed in the outer skin layers, it theoretically pulls water away from deeper epidermal layers possibly resulting in increased skin dryness. Glycerin can also be used as a solvent to produce botanic extracts, however it is a poor solvent and yields extracts of inferior quality for skincare. It is also an oxidant that binds with antioxidant molecules and may render them inert (ineffective). Grove Apotheca products do not contain glycerin.
Ecocert certified preservative. EU approved cosmetic preservative. Gluconolactone is produced from an aqueous gluconic acid solution by dehydration involving azeotropic distillation with alcohols, followed by crystallization from the alcohol-containing residue.
HYDROSOL / FLOWER WATER
Literally a plant water produced by distilling fresh leaves, flowers, fruit or other botanic materials. They have similar properties to essential oils, but are much less concentrated. Unlike essential oils, they contain a very high concentration of hydrophilic phytochemicals, primarily acids. All hydrosols have an acidic pH. They have been revered and used for skincare for centuries.
NIACINAMIDE / VITAMIN B3
Vitamin B3 is a biologic precursor to NAD+. NAD+ in cells contributes an electron to free radicals that neutralize them. Niacinamide may improve skin barrier function by up regulating the synthesis of ceramides and lipids; and stimulating keratinocyte differentiation. Translation: It improves the moisture content of skin which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also speeds up the production of skin cell turnover, this gives skin that fresh glowing appearance. It also may have the ability to increase collagen production. It is a synthetic ingredient.
PHYTOACTIVE / PHYTOCHEMICAL
Chemicals occurring naturally in plants. Major groups of phytochemicals are: Alkaloids, Glycosides, Polyphenols, and Terpenes. Some phytochemical groups you may have heard about: Flavonoids, Peptides (Amino Acids), Polyphenols, Tannins. Various antioxidants are easily found among: tannins, polyphenols, flavonoids and terpenes. The Phytoactive list in product descriptions highlights some important phytochemicals but is hardly all encompassing.
Dried or fresh botanical leaves, petals, or stems. May be used "as is" or undergo one of these extraction processes: cold-pressing, supercritical extraction, alcohol extraction or steam distillation. It is never an isolated plant-derived chemical compound, rather it is a full array of complex phytohemicals that a plant has to offer. Exact phytochemicals present and concentrations can vary based on botanical species and growth conditions (terroir, climate, ecosystem) as well as the type of botanic extraction utilized. This is why botanical origin is very important.
RETINOL / VITAMIN A / CAROTENOIDS
Vitamin A is composed of 2 parts: retinoids and carotenoids. Retinoids come from animal sources or are synthetic. Carotenoids are found in plants. Carotenoids include lycopene, lutein, zeaxantuin and beta-carotene. Carotenoids are potent antioxidants with powerful free radical neutralization ability. Recent research has examined carotenoids photoprotective activity in skin following UV light exposure.
Chelating agent and pH stabilizer. Sodium gluconate is produced by microbial fermentation of glucose from Aspergillus niger fungi.
EU approved cosmetic preservative. Sodium benzoate is produced by the neutralization of benzoic acid with sodium bicarbonate. This is used in levels at tenths or hundredths of 1%.
SUPER CRITICAL CO2 EXTRACT
This is the newest method of botanical processing. CO2 extracts are made using carbon dioxide gas under pressure at ambient temperature. The carbon dioxide acts as a solvent to extract mostly lipophilic phytochemicals and some hydrophilic phytochemicals. The resulting extract has a similar profile to an essential oil with some phytochemicals present that may not be in the counterpart essential oil and some phytochemicals at a higher concentration. CO2 extracts are subjected to less oxidation, no heat and contain no undesirable chemical residues. It is an extremely fine quality botanical ingredient.
Astringent polyphenolic molecules that bind to amino acids. Commonly found in tree bark and leaves. This group includes: Ellagic acid and Gallic acids. Tannins can reduce the appearance of pores. Used as a holistic treatment to soothe sunburn inflammation. Various studies have found that tannins have potential to reduce free radical damage from UV light and protect against collagen and elastin degradation.
Antioxidant flavonol formed during the fermentation period of Oolong black tea. Theaflavin-3-gallate is the primary theaflavin. Theaflavins impart a deep red color in a black tea extract. Tea flavonols are widely researched in the scientific community for numerous health benefits. Eastern cultural practices back up the benefits.
UBIQUINONE / COQ-10
Ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10) is a multi-functional protein found in all cells of the body. In lipid membranes it functions as an antioxidant. In most people over age 30, the presence of COQ-10 declines in skin resulting in oxidative stress. Some results find COQ-10 reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
WATER INFUSED EXTRACT
Dried botanical material is added to heated water to yield hydrophilic phytochemicals such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), anthrocyanins, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and tannins. The infusion process is similar to making a cup of tea with very strict temperature controls. This process yields the highest concentration of particular antioxidants among certain botanicals.
A naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in plants. It is widely used as a sugar substitute and in oral care products.
Derived from castor bean. Absorbs odor.